Crack, Suck, (Pluck That Duck Out And) Eat It!

I dare you to say it, then eat it too. 


Pronounced as bah-loot.

This is how you say it: Put your lips gently pressed together at the beginning; your tongue flicking quickly up towards your palate, your lips moving as one in the shape of a narrow ooo, and ends with your tongue teasingly poking behind your teeth.

While many squeamishly shy away from eating this traditional Pinoy dish, most beer drinkers all over the Philippine republic love to devour this much-maligned Filipino delicacy as one of their “pulutan”.

Get ready to crack, suck, pluck that duck out and eat the balut!

“Pulutan” comes from the Filipino word “pulutin” which means “something that is picked up”. It is a term roughly analogous to the English term “finger food”.It is finger food (side dish or appetizer) eaten while drinking liquor or alcoholic beverages.

The common pulutan in the Philippines (also known as street foods because they are also widely sold by ambulant vendors carrying baskets, peddling small carts or at small stalls at street corners) are isaw, bopis, sisig, mani (peanuts), inihaw na pusit (grilled squid), chicharon (pork rinds), walkman (pigs’ ears), betamax (pigs’ dried blood in cube shapes), prawn crackers with vinegar, and the list goes on.

But balut is definitely above and beyond the levels of the other pulutans. It is degree zero for culinary nastiness and the dreaded food test for the “Kano”(American) and “Fil-Am” (Filipino-American).

There is nothing sensual per se about balut; it is, after all, an aborted duck fetus. As opposed to, say, eating an ordinary chicken egg with yolk and all, the balut is already fertilized and ready to go, as it were, with an actual, healthy, living duck embryo (incubated up to 18 days in a hatchery). And this where, of course, the balut gets its notoriety: the fetal duck really looks like a duck, with eyes, pink little limbs, a few gray feathers, useless beak and all, here and there for your adventurous appetite.

Instructions for eating balut:

Put some balut in a pot, add water until all of the eggs are soaked, then boil them under low fire for a few minutes until cooked.The number of minutes would depend on how many your baluts are, but just similar to cooking plain eggs.

Now, we’re ready to eat the balut.

1. Putt some salt in a dipping dish, the kind used for soy sauce or “patis.”

2. Hold the balut upright and, with the underside of a spoon, crack the egg’s top.

3. Chip away a few pieces of the eggshell until you have a hole about the diameter of a thumb mark or bigger if you so pleased.

4. If you see some kind of gauzy-like thin membrane. Pierce it.

5. You can peek inside the balut now and see a broth-like liquid. This is the albumen or technically the amniotic fluid of the duck fetus.

6. Tip the egg to your mouth and suck out the liquid. The method of eating involves a “hearty slurp”.

7. Continue removing the eggshell. Depending on how you cracked it open, you may then see an undifferentiated mass of stuff that feels like slightly runny, soft-boiled egg in texture. You may dip the stuff in salt, or just drop a pinch of salt on top of the egg, and eat it.

8. When you encounter the hard and white, spherical section that looks like a seed, throw it away. It maybe a good source of calcium, but it’s tasteless and hard for many. That is actually the egg white hardened into maturity of the fetus.

9.When you finally get to the duck fetus, you could pluck it out by the head — at which point the body unrolls from its fetal position and its little legs dangle — dip it into some salt, and drop it into your mouth. If you are eating feathers, then you got ripped off. That duck embryo is too old and is on its way to pre-school. 10. It is recommended to wash down every bite of the balut with some ice cold beer.

Some people would say you must be sick to even think balut is good for you…but nobody ever had much more than three brain cells to eat most of the food that comes from a Filipino kitchen. The health risks are probably a no brainer…. but many don’t know that, while others who know simply don’t care.

Grossed-out quotes that you heard from reality shows or are added for purely shock factor and not descriptive of any epicurean adventure. Theirs is not the dialog that properly describes eating exotic delicacies.

A balut is simply just an egg and duck served as one delightfully delectable dish.

They are just plain morons being gross.

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